Media Release Monday 6 October 2003
Border security is focus for joint training exercise
Keeping New Zealand’s borders safe is behind a joint NZ Customs, Defence, Police, Immigration, Health and MAF exercise
in the Hauraki Gulf starting today and running till Friday 10 October.
The exercise will involve 2 defence vessels, including the frigate the Canterbury, and the Customs patrol boat the Hawk,
as well as an interception and boarding by Customs and Police teams. The exercise scenario includes surveillance of a
vessel, intercepting a vessel and processing the illegal migrants on a vessel.
The exercise evaluator, Paul Campbell, of NZ Customs stresses this does NOT mean that there is any information
suggesting a vessel is currently or likely to come to New Zealand. “The most complex scenario involving agencies
operating at the border is unidentified passengers and this joint exercise allows all of us to develop a co-ordinated
response rather than suggesting this is about immigrant arrivals”.
‘Exercise Barrier’ involves two briefing days, two days on the water where joint agencies will practice intercepting a
vessel, and a final day for debriefing.
About 150 Customs officers, Defence personnel, Police, MAF and Immigration officers will be involved.
If a vessel carrying illegal migrants arrived in New Zealand’s waters, the roles of the agencies would be:
- Customs: to stop, board and direct the vessel and the people on board the vessel.
- Police: to provide safety and security for all people on board the vessel and to enforce New Zealand legislation
including the new provisions relating to Transnational Organised Crime, through investigation, detection, apprehension
and prosecution of offenders for criminal offences.
- Health: assessing the health status of those on board the vessel and managing any health issues.
- MAF Quarantine: Assessing the biosecurity risk and managing any biosecurity issues.
- Defence: to provide the transport and support and assistance.